In 2011, the Yukon passed the Victims of Crime Act . A Victims’ Bill of Rights is an important part of this new law.
The Victims’ Bill of Rights states that victims of crime have:
- the right to information about the justice system;
- the right to express their views;
- the right to have their property returned when it is no longer needed as evidence; and
- the right to have their needs considered when victim programs and services are developed.
The Victims’ Bill of Rights also includes three basic rights:
- Victims have the right to be treated with courtesy, caring and respect.
- Victims have the right to privacy.
- Victims have the right to expect that the justice system will do what it can to reduce their inconvenience and protect them from intimidation and retaliation.
The Bill of Rights recognizes that protecting the dignity and safety of a person affected by crime serves the well-being of the whole community.
It is important to note that the Victims’ Bill of Rights is part of a Yukon law. Therefore, federal bodies such as the Crown or RCMP are not bound by this Bill of Rights. However, Victim Services is working to ensure that victims’ rights are respected throughout the criminal justice system.
Who is a Victim of Crime
The Act also outlines that a victim of crime is someone who has suffered harm as the result of an offence. The law identifies five kinds of harm:
- bodily injury;
- mental injury;
- emotional pain;
- economic loss; and
- loss of property.
You can be considered a victim under the Victims of Crime Act even if no charge has been laid or the accused has not been convicted.
- A victim can also be a family member or guardian who has been harmed by the offence.
- A person might suffer harm because of an offence against someone else. For example, a person who sees a close relative assaulted might suffer emotional pain.
- If the victim is a young child or cannot exercise the rights granted by the Act, the guardian, nearest relative or spouse can receive information and services for him or her.
Download our Victims Have Rights information card.